Matthew 20.1-16 (Click here to read on YouVersion)
If we were honest, we'd openly say that this story from Jesus is frustrating. After all, we believe in fairness and this story simply isn't fair. Jesus says that His kingdom is like a person who only worked the last hour of the day getting paid the exact same amount as the person who came to work at the crack of dawn.
And honestly, we don't like that.
We call that unfair. The Bible calls it grace.
Because grace doesn't give you what you deserve. Grace gives you what you need. The owner of the vineyard (representing our Heavenly Father) doesn't want any of his employees to go hungry or live in poverty. That might make the early-bird employee angry. But really, the only one who suffers the costs of this kind of grace is the vineyard owner himself.
God help us if we ever look down on another Christian whom God saves and blesses as less deserving than ourselves. We don't deserve God's love any more than anyone else. And if we think we do, we are guilty of the same kind of hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus' day.
The truth is--we probably shouldn't read the story like we are the workers who showed up early. We should read the story as if we are the workers who showed up at the end of the day and by some miracle, we still got the full day's wage. We all are the undeserving workers upon whom God still shows mercy.
And I like that.
Today's Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your grace and mercy on my life. I don't deserve the blessings you have granted. Knowing that, help me to never see myself as more deserving than anyone else. Help me extend the same grace and mercy I have received.